Funny how

Trivialities tire us most

I could deal with a crisis easily

Would prefer it, even, in small doses

(Crises are one of the things I

Excel at, you know)

But instead I am here, standing behind a counter

And ringing up item after item after

Do you have a store credit card, Miss?

Would you like one?

What a lovely

I could be writing, you know, I could be

And why am I miserable? Is it because

It means nothing? Because I am in a small town

and my friends have all moved away

and there is no one to hug, now, no one to


Is that it? Or is it because I’m spoiled, because I think I’m

Better than the work, better than

The women who come in and out more often

Because they can afford to?

Is it because four fifths of the money will go to my mother,

For college?

What is this for? Does its purpose go beyond

Humiliation? I wonder if Snow White

Thought so, a princess cleaning the dwarves’ house

If she ever invited the witch in out of

Desperation — finally, someone else, something to do!

I can’t stay in this house forever.

But tomorrow, all the same, I will go to work,

And not be writing,

And not be loving,

or even learning.

But I have an order to complete, don’t I?